Forgiveness Trolls

forgivenesstrollOnce upon a time, I got my dander up when some troll commented on the Translating Other Woman-ese post. She was an artful troll though, the sort many of you probably encounter in your day-to-day life. The sort of person who notices your big, cracked open heart, peers in and sniffs, “Gee, you really should do something about that.” And then follows it up with observations that you’re grieving in all the Wrong Ways, offers sympathies, and adds that troll herself has never suffered such misfortune. Too bad yours is “self-inflicted.”

These people make me crazy. First of all, why on earth would you come on my board and tell chumps what to do if you yourself have never been chumped? I don’t get on boards for people whose children have died and tell them they’re grieving all wrong. Or really a better analogy would be children who were killed by a drunk driver (I didn’t intend to hurt you!) and remind them not to be angry, but focus on the future. Oh, and then link them to my book. What fucking gall!

forgivenesstrollbunnyThe problem with forgiveness trolls is they would just like everyone to bypass the unpleasantness. Which to me, cloaks a hidden agenda — unpleasant for WHOM? Trust me, this shit is a lot more unpleasant for the person going through it. I’m sorry chump pain is inconvenient and uncomfortable for you, troll. Anger is a stage of grief. Most chumps try very hard not slop their grief around in their real lives. They come on to anonymous boards like Chump Lady and spill their guts with people who get it. So really — I have to scare you forgiveness trolls off with a broom? You’re going to pester nice, anonymous chumps about their grief and “bitterness”?

God I can’t stand these people.

Here is your problem chumps — YOU’RE NOT ANGRY ENOUGH. I’m putting that in all angry shouty caps. If ANYTHING is “self-inflicted” it’s that you’re too damn nice. That you give people the benefit of the doubt. That you try harder. The problem with chumps in my opinion is they don’t get to anger fast enough. The whole purpose of my blog is to get more chumps to stand on a chair and shout “I’M PISSED AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANY MORE!”

Why? Because I like angry people? Because I’m just bitter that way?

NO! Because I want you to move forward out of this situation that is hurting you, and the best way to do that is to get pissed off and see it for the injustice that it is. I’m a fan of PRODUCTIVE anger. The sort that says “HOW DARE YOU!” and calls a lawyer. That anger is your friend.

I’m not a fan of unproductive anger. The kind that turns in on itself as depression. The kind that stays pissy and short-tempered and refuses to do anything to help itself forward. The anger that stays stuck in limbo and paralysis.

You know how you stay stuck in unproductive anger? You listen to forgiveness trolls. Those “well-meaning” idiots who tell you to get over it. Not be so upset. Stay friends. Don’t be so rash. Puts a chump into a perpetual loop of cognitive dissonance. “I’m pissed!/I don’t think I should feel this way.” “How dare she!/Maybe this is my fault.” “You hurt me/I brought this on myself.”

That shit keeps you stuck.

Righteous anger frees you, gives you the jolt of lucidity you need to see that you’re being played for a sucker.

Do I want you to stay angry? Yes I do until you trust that they suck and you don’t get lured back into an abusive relationship. Does that mean I want you lurching around like Frankenstein, setting fire to small villages, venting your rage? No. Please don’t harm innocents with your anger. But do remember it when you feel the chumpiness coming on.

Once you get to meh, you won’t need your pal anger so much any more. Why? Because with some time and distance you realize who this person truly is and that being around them sucks. Your life is so much better (after time and distance) and you begin to wonder why you ever fought so hard to keep that wing nut in your life. Bad dream! The anger percolates up time to time as you deal with the fallout of the cheater’s shit decisions (money, kids, in-laws). But on the whole, you know how to protect yourself and you don’t feel vulnerable to their manipulations any more.

You don’t get there without anger. If that makes some forgiveness troll call you bitter? FUCK ‘EM, chumps. FUCK ‘EM. They haven’t lived it. They don’t know. What you aspire to, is to be high above it, blissfully indifferent to what a shithead your cheater continues to be, because you’re too busy with being awesome.

I’m not done with my rant. Oh no, I’m putting the comment through the Universal Bullshit Translator.

I have been married 25 years and neither my husband or I have ever cheated.  I’ve been reading this because a friend is struggling with a cheating wife. Though I have never worn your shoes, I can imagine how I’d see red if my husband went off with another woman and lived a “fairytale” life, in a nice house etc.

But living in bitterness and anger never helps us feel good or whole. For a while, allowing ourselves to experience truly death-dealing anger probably feels both necessary and good. But after a time, it will eat away at us. For the spouse who has been cheated on, the most important thing you can do is focus on the future not the past.

You deserve more. You are better off without your ex. I imagine this is almost impossible to swallow. It seems like it would be important to do your best to let it go. To aim for forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn’t mean the ex is/ was right–but it allows you to move on and rebuild.

The other thing that is so cruel is how often the man cheats and b/c he is the earner, his life continues in the same vein whereas the woman suffers in terms of her lifestyle. This must seem like a daily slap in the face. The dependency on a man is so undermining. I’m a writer and until about ten years ago I barely made two pennies. Even so, I’m not sure I would have wanted his money if we’d gotten divorced. I would have needed it, but I would have hated relying on him. It’s hard to build up a sense of self worth and potential when you depend on the very person who rejected you.

Good luck everyone.

P.S. Oops just realized I am part of the “smug unknowing class.” In reality, I am someone who dealt with the amazing pain that is self-inflicted when you can’t find a way to forgive–or at least try to forgive– someone who has wronged you.

I have been married 25 years and neither my husband or I have ever cheated.  

So you have absolutely no experience with what we’ve gone through. Zero. Zippy. And you’d like us to know that you, unlike us poor unfortunates, have never suffered a divorce due to infidelity. Bully for you.

I’ve been reading this because a friend is struggling with a cheating wife. Though I have never worn your shoes, I can imagine how I’d see red if my husband went off with another woman and lived a “fairytale” life, in a nice house etc.

Yeah, I see red when someone cuts me off in traffic. I collapse in grief, puke for days, lose perilous amounts of weight, get STD tests, spend thousands of dollars on legal help and years in therapy when someone cheats on me.

But living in bitterness and anger never helps us feel good or whole.

And there we have it. We’re grieving wrong. Thanks very much Troll-Who-Has-Never-Been-Chumped. You played the “bitter” card. I feel very sorry for your chumped friend. Something tells me you haven’t resisted giving him this advice if you feel compelled to lecture perfect strangers with it.

For a while, allowing ourselves to experience truly death-dealing anger probably feels both necessary and good. But after a time, it will eat away at us.

And you know this how? Because??? Someone was once mean to you? Didn’t invite you to their birthday party? Snubbed you on the golf course? Gave you an ugly haircut? Have you suffered some soul-wrenching trauma that makes you an expert on “death-dealing anger”? It “probably” feels necessary and good? Probably meaning you’re guessing? You don’t know shit.

Look, troll. I wanted to carve my cheating ex-husband up with a fish knife. It didn’t feel “good” — the rage felt terrifying. Fortunately, I channeled those feelings into running the hell away from him. But let me just tell you, you have no fucking clue what you’re talking about. NONE.

For the spouse who has been cheated on, the most important thing you can do is focus on the future not the past.

No, understand the past before you focus on the future, so you don’t repeat the same damn dynamic in your next relationship. Realize you’ve been chumped, get angry, grieve, and THEN move forward. The most important thing you can do is HEAL. Moving “forward” is not the same thing as healing. You can “move forward” with fuck all for understanding. We call that “rug sweeping.”

You deserve more. You are better off without your ex.

Here we are in agreement.

I imagine this is almost impossible to swallow. It seems like it would be important to do your best to let it go.

You imagine. It seems important to let go. So in other words, you don’t know. This “seems” like the right thing to say. And you’re an expert because? You’re linking to your self-help book on my site about middle children? Hey, tell you what — I’ll keep my mouth shut about birth order and you keep your mouth shut about infidelity.

To aim for forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn’t mean the ex is/ was right–but it allows you to move on and rebuild.

Don’t presume to tell other people what to forgive or what forgiveness does and does not confer. Some people’s religious believes require that the sinner ask for atonement for their sins, to acknowledge the injury. Most of us never get that. Many of us move forward quite nicely without forgiveness. Others struggle with it. You have a lot of nerve to tell hurting, vulnerable people what they should do when you’ve never experienced this.

The other thing that is so cruel is how often the man cheats and b/c he is the earner, his life continues in the same vein whereas the woman suffers in terms of her lifestyle. This must seem like a daily slap in the face. The dependency on a man is so undermining. I’m a writer and until about ten years ago I barely made two pennies. Even so, I’m not sure I would have wanted his money if we’d gotten divorced. I would have needed it, but I would have hated relying on him. It’s hard to build up a sense of self worth and potential when you depend on the very person who rejected you.

So your husband supported you for 15 years while you barely made two pennies. How nice that you imagine the flinty independence of single mothers who wave off support out of a “sense of self worth.” God, those weak women who “rely” on men! May their children “rely” on support from their fathers, or does that undermine their self worth as well? Yes, it IS hard to depend on checks from the very person who rejected you. Ask my son how he knows.

Good luck everyone.

P.S. Oops just realized I am part of the “smug unknowing class.” In reality, I am someone who dealt with the amazing pain that is self-inflicted when you can’t find a way to forgive–or at least try to forgive– someone who has wronged you.

I know from self-inflicted pain, troll. I read your entire comment and responded to it. Stay smug! Stay unknowing! Bye!

This column ran previously. But Forgiveness Trolls still live among us.

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Longtimechump
Longtimechump
7 years ago

Osho, Ekhart Tolle, all these new age-y forgiveness guys. You have the legions going after you because these people are in pain and they think you have the remedies. I was one of them. For years devouring your books and wondering how, just HOW can I forgive betrayal and not feel anger, grudge, revenge – all these “negative emotions” that you warn us against abd prileach to replace with forgiveness. I ditched all your books. I found Chump Lady. Fuck off with your forgiveness!

Fool me twice
Fool me twice
7 years ago
Reply to  Longtimechump

Dear Chump Lady,
This post came at just the right moment for me. Your website has been my life line for the past 3 months. Today my wife (We are a same sex couple) was served the divorce papers. Just got off the phone with her mother, who called to tell me how devastated my ex was. I was feeling so horrible, so guilty and sad, even though I know from everything I’ve learned here that reconciliation won’t work for me. Thanks for keeping me strong!

Chumptitude
Chumptitude
7 years ago
Reply to  Fool me twice

Fool Me Twice, welcome to the vlub no one wants to join! As the divorce proceedings start in earnest, be sure to keep everything in writing with your stbx, especially if you share custody!

Also read through the archives for the 3 channels of fuckedupness, as your stbx might escalade her manipulative ways…

Stay strong and forge on!

Fool Me Twice
Fool Me Twice
7 years ago
Reply to  Chumptitude

Thank you for your welcome and for the advice. I will keep everything in writing it and continue to lean on you all to keep me from falling into the foggy abyss of confusion these cheaters are so good at creating.

Kristin
Kristin
7 years ago
Reply to  Longtimechump

FUCK YES!

midlifeBlast
midlifeBlast
7 years ago
Reply to  Longtimechump

I am also sick of this idiotic “no negative emotions allowed” and more ridiculous “manifest want you want – manifest a Ferrari!!”

I have had a long think about emotions, my conclusion is that they must all have a survival function. We need all of them, but in conjunction with reasoning. Yes, aim for the higher ones but the other ones are needed to get us back up there.

Ooooh – how I felt that day my cousin told me it was “OK to be angry” it was something spectacular!

theotherwhitemansburden
theotherwhitemansburden
7 years ago

Got only a couple of those in my life — including my ex, who said that I should forgive him “for my own sake.” Apparently he continues to labor under the false impression that he knows what’s best for me. When I said that I did not beat him up and do not care enough to deal with him, so he should consider himself forgiven, he switched the channel to “you are a vengeful woman!” Don’t even care to wrap my head around the logic of that statement.

just around the bend
just around the bend
7 years ago

Let’s not forget that Marla Maples has publicly said that Ivana should forgive her — for Ivana’s sake.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago

Well, there you have it–words of wisdom from one of our cultural and spiritual leaders, Marla. SMH.

Marked711
Marked711
7 years ago

My standard response when someone asks if I’ve forgiven her is “she’s still alive, consider her forgiven”. Yes, I’ve given up my desire for revenge (not that I’m capable of hurting anyone, but the fantasy was nice).

just around the bend
just around the bend
7 years ago
Reply to  Marked711

My response is ” has that person forgiven me?”

When asked what do they need to forgive you for?

My response is: “For whatever I did that motivated her / him to do (whatever) to me.”

that usually shuts them up.

Whodoesthat
Whodoesthat
7 years ago

That is gold. This is where everything is backwards for chumps. The onus and spotlight is turned on the wronged one to make it all better again and not be so unpleasant etc. To actually switch the tables and go back to the actual ‘crime’ of the cheaters action ie what must i have done to warrant such abberant behaviour makes people view the cheater with the same judgement they like to put on you. Poetic justice.

ChumpedToTheMax
ChumpedToTheMax
7 years ago
Reply to  Marked711

Fantasy is nice, I used to imagine punching him right in the face, but it would not have been as much fun in real life…and I would feel bad about hurting someone, unlike Xhole.

Eilonwy
Eilonwy
7 years ago

Although I think this works brilliantly as a response (and I want a kayak, too), I worry a bit that the kids will get stuck caring for his ass. (Helping kids grow up to be compassionate and independent enough not to get sucked into a narcissist’s drama is a tough gig.)

But what I like best about it is how it reflects my MIL. She was livid when I divorced her only and beloved son–largely, I think, because she knew I would be a reliable caregiver as she aged and needed help, and he is most likely to visit her bedside to steal her meds. My exit made the future of a lousy, lonely nursing care facility look pretty darn likely.

Thanks for the powerful response!

saw
saw
7 years ago
Reply to  Marked711

Yes. My sense of humor and sanity has saved me. The funny thing is that I have been so shocked, paralyzed, depressed, sobbing uncontrollably, to being angry enough to say , “I am not walking out of this house without a large cash sum, a nice retirement in my IRA and I am having an estate sale where I keep the money”. I want the title to my truck, my cat and dogs. I am buying a cabin, kayak, horse, everything I gave up for your ass to abandon, disgard, dump me hoping that I would be living in the streets. Guess asshole, your children will have power of attorney over you and deem you unfit. They will control your money and send you to the cheapest nursing home. You made that bed. Forgive you?? Maybe forget you and have a good life. Not your chattel anymore.

Dear Stupi ignorant person,

Shut up!

Bye.

Hope49
Hope49
7 years ago
Reply to  saw

Saw, I echo your sentiment exactly.

saw
saw
7 years ago
Reply to  saw

Stupid.

ChumpedToTheMax
ChumpedToTheMax
7 years ago

Two years after divorcing the serial cheating, abusive X, my X still sends me texts saying I need to forgive him. “It would be best for you to forgive.”

I think people get confused with forgiveness and consequences. I have forgiven. I am happy he cheated and acted like a jerk, because it set me free. But it doesn’t he gets off without consequences, like no contact, the divorce, etc.

Forgiveness is giving up the right to revenge. I want nothing bad to happen to him. I want him to stay out of my life. That is not un-forgiveness. That is consequences.

paigeup
paigeup
7 years ago

Wow! Everywhere I read what forgiveness ISN’T. Forgiveness is giving up the right to revenge. Thank you for saying what it IS. My working definition is that forgiveness is minding my own business.

ChumpedToTheMax
ChumpedToTheMax
7 years ago
Reply to  paigeup

I also never heard what forgiveness really is. I took a graduate class that delved into forgiveness and it just happened to be at the same time of DDay #3. It gave me clarity to finally learn what forgiveness is…especially since the disordered love to tell you that you need to “forgive and forgot.” That is not what that means!

Just around the bend
Just around the bend
7 years ago

Even Aesop n aesop fables said:”Things can be forgiven but they cannot be forgotten.@

theotherwhitemansburden
theotherwhitemansburden
7 years ago

Yes, “I am happy he cheated and acted like a jerk, because it set me free” is as forgiving as I’m going to get, too. But it’s not enough for them — it’s not absolution, it’s not wiping the slate clean. Why they think we have the power to clean a slate that they messed up is beyond me.

ChumpedToTheMax
ChumpedToTheMax
7 years ago

I heard a good analogy once…it’s like breaking a plate. Sure you can glue it back together a couple of times, but it is never the same and then one day the glue doesn’t even work anymore…they just don’t understand the damage they do and the scars they leave. Very happy to be away from that mess!

KB22
KB22
7 years ago

Your ex sounds really smug. Do you think that maybe your ex is giving you a passive aggressive dig, such as you are still not over me? Maybe he is a bit worried that you ARE actually over him and this is his absurd way of never letting you forget him. In any case he’s a total asswipe. I think the next time he sends the “you should forgive” text you should respond “please get over me and move on as I have” or something along that line. It’ll kill him.

ChumpedToTheMax
ChumpedToTheMax
7 years ago
Reply to  KB22

Yes, so many ways to be mean and have some fun, but it would encourage him too. I realized he got off on the fighting and drama….yuck! I just don’t respond anymore, in fact, when he sent a creepy “till death do us part” message on Valentines Day, I blocked him.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  KB22

‘you should respond “please get over me and move on as I have” ‘

YES! perfect response, Kb22!

midlifeBlast
midlifeBlast
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Aargh. Yes!!!

Be like mean girls “are you like in love with me or something? Stop texting and obsessing over me and move on” lol lol lol. Laughing at my own jokes

Survivor
Survivor
7 years ago
Reply to  midlifeBlast

It’s best not to engage the disordered, but a little send off that can be used as Exhibit “A” if the stalking continues can be fun.

I think the whole asking for forgiveness ploy is meant to pave the way for “we can still be friends!” No, no we can’t.

Doingme
Doingme
7 years ago
Reply to  Survivor

The forgiveness ploy is probably a mask adjustment as supply dwindles.

Changing your phone number gets the message through without engaging.

Cheaters are lazy. Hey, he can’t be that bad if his EX still talks to him. It will fit his narrative. Cheater logic strikes again.

As far as the idea of replacing vengeance with forgiving a cheating sociopath who sadistically took pleasure in abusing me for years? Um, no. That’s never going to happen.

I believe chumps are much more intelligent than the weak minded insecure cheaters we partnered with.

Once they lose centrality they experience fear. The fear we will move on and live better. Look who has the power now.

OhHellNo
OhHellNo
7 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Yes, the hardest forgiveness troll to deal with is the Cheater Him/HerSelf.

When anyone tries this $hit my general response is pretty harsh:

So you’re saying that — after I get raped — my rapist is the one who gets to tell me the timeline for healing and forgiveness?!

That usually shuts them up pretty quickly.

Cactusflower
Cactusflower
7 years ago
Reply to  OhHellNo

Boom! Fuck yes!

horsesrcumin
horsesrcumin
7 years ago
Reply to  OhHellNo

OhHellNo, I found, as a violent rape survivor (which most people, of course, do not know) that if I used that analogy, the reason for the silence was usually that the person was mentally throwing their hands in the air and thinking, “she’s a lost cause. Now she’s comparing the ‘silly mistake’ he made with the horror of rape.”

Guess which of these events has caused me the worst, ongoing pain? Violent rape was never ‘my fault,’ and I moved on and ‘healed’ nicely. But most have blamed me (without a shred of evidence) for his cheating. Because, if such a great guy could cheat, it must be my fault, right? Troll reasoning.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  horsesrcumin

I’m sorry you suffered both traumas, horsesrcumin. No wonder we all band together here at CL; so many clueless people out there.

horsesrcumin
horsesrcumin
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Cheers, Tempest. Absolutely. No one IRL for me, gets it. No one. Grateful every day that this community does ?

Sebhai
Sebhai
7 years ago
Reply to  horsesrcumin

Horsecumin@
????

horsesrcumin
horsesrcumin
7 years ago
Reply to  horsesrcumin

Oh Hope. I am so sorry. So very sorry.

And Kathleen, your hugs are very appreciated. I hear far worse stories. I have mostly, so far, had a very good life. We loved hard and true for a very long time. I know most chumps never had that.

Hope49
Hope49
7 years ago
Reply to  horsesrcumin

horsesrcumin, I am so sorry about what you have gone through. Oh my. There are no words. I have not been a victim of rape. Like you though, I got an STD from my husband that will reside in my body forever. I hate him for that. That injustice and rage you feel- I feel as well. Herpes for life…

KathleenK
KathleenK
7 years ago
Reply to  horsesrcumin

Horses,
There are no words. I am so sorry to hear the stories of your past. Thanks for posting and speaking the truth. You are a brave and strong woman. (((hugs)))

kiwichump
kiwichump
7 years ago
Reply to  horsesrcumin

I am not surprised the cheating caused you the worst ongoing pain, Horses. Being betrayed by the person you trusted with your life is shattering. It is such a struggle with myself to accept that although my trust was completely misplaced, what the traitor did is not “my fault”. It is a struggle to accept and forgive myself for not fighting back sooner, not fighting back harder. And the perception from outsiders that it is always partly the chump’s fault, it takes 2 and blah, blah, is always there.
It’s still taking a long time for rape victims not to be partly blamed for their attack, though. I watched a doco on campus rapes recently and the way these women are treated because they had been drinking is disgusting. “You asked for it” is still alive and well if you’re raped by a middle class student…

horsesrcumin
horsesrcumin
7 years ago
Reply to  kiwichump

Part of the reason I told so few people, kiwi. Just the medical staff and police as I was swabbed and stitched up (my genital injuries were extensive.) I was at a party, and raped by someone I knew. There was alcohol involved. But I was not drunk. Had a couple of drinks in me. Even if I had been off my trolley, I knew it was not in any way my fault. But I have definitely been victim blamed about his affair. By everyone (except him, actually!) He knows and says to anyone who tries that shit that I did NOTHING wrong, it was all his shit. I’ll give him that. He owns his shit.

My ex didn’t know until we’d lived together about two years. He was and is my first and only sex partner. But I never told him that as I had been raped. It seemed a weird/hard thing to claim? He knows now. And is so ashamed that he caused more pain then the fat bastard who ripped me to shreds. I am totally meh about that. But still far from meh about the affair’s repercussions in my life and on my heart.

Arnold
Arnold
7 years ago
Reply to  horsesrcumin

I was molested multiple times as an eleven year old. The betrayal of my XW’s caused as much pain and damage.

kiwichump
kiwichump
7 years ago
Reply to  horsesrcumin

I am so sorry your trust has been repeatedly abused, Horses, also by your close family friend. Hugs.

horsesrcumin
horsesrcumin
7 years ago
Reply to  horsesrcumin

Oh. And the rapist never left me with a lifelong disease. I was thoroughly checked out at 20. The ex? Yep. I will deal with this for the rest of my life. And that just does my head in. Some random fuckwit did his worst and we all ‘moved on.’ My truly beloved, adored and treasured partner of over 25 years left me with diseases because he was so fucking stupid he believed ‘she was clean.’ Because you can tell by looking at people, right?

He doesn’t know who that fuckwit was. But I also don’t think he fully understands my misery about this one everlasting fact, either. Not that he needs to anymore.

theotherwhitemansburden
theotherwhitemansburden
7 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Precisely. All his other actions that affected me magically fall under “not my problem,” including a severe bout of PTSD, which was treated as “it’s not my fault your body is reacting that way.” But when it comes to me forgiving him, he showed great concern for my peace of mind and mental health.

Mavis
Mavis
7 years ago

I will NEVER forgive the fucktard for what he did to my children and myself. This anger allows me stand up for myself now when others try to demean or bully me. It doesn’t drive my life, but I definitely consider it a strength, not a weakness.

JesssMom
JesssMom
7 years ago

“All his other actions that affected me magically fall under “not my problem,” including a severe bout of PTSD, which was treated as ‘it’s not my fault your body is reacting that way.’”

Yes! I dared to complain that my ongoing nightmares (every time I closed my eyes – violent/terrifying – worst of my life) were exhausting me because I wasn’t sleeping more than one hour at a time–no exaggeration. My asshat had the audacity to say that I wouldn’t be having nightmares if I regulated my schedule better. I was, as usual, dumbfounded.

Not only does this type of response reject responsibility and empathy – the double-whammy is the blameshift. (It’s not what I did that’s the problem … it’s your body’s reaction to it …. ).

Cause and effect is completely subjective in narc world.

Chumpednomore
Chumpednomore
7 years ago

Tracy, you never fail at being a badass. Chumps need to get fucking angry, seriously. Enough with all the melodramatic, little house on the prairie forgiveness shit. This ain’t the prairie. Wanna know the way I deal with my amazing pain, lady? I get pissed. I take no shit. You’ve never been cheated on? Well where the hell have you been? It’s quite empowering to truly learn to be tough and say no more to abuse, lies and manipulation.

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
7 years ago
Reply to  Chumpednomore

I’m liking how people here are saying, “Forgiveness to me is…”

Forgiveness to me is a very personal and private action. To me, it is not something you’re encouraged into, or have to state publicly as a gesture of sanctimonious attention, or as a “fake it to you make it” wish, but something you deeply feel. To me, forgiveness requires either years and years of time to dull the pain, or acknowledgement from the perpetrator that he did something wrong AND then willfully acts to rectify the wrong. In the case of my ex husband, unless I live long enough to dull the pain, forgiveness will never happen.

I will never forgive the man who IS PROUD that he masqueraded as someone he knew he was not, lived an intentional, secret life that eventually and powerfully destroyed mine and our children’s well-being, stole money from us, continues to emotionally abuse his sons, continues to malign me to others and continues to expect to exert his right to control what happens to me and our kids because he deliberately misrepresented himself to the judge in our divorce hearing. And the judge bought it. And I can’t contest it because I can’t afford to hire a lawyer to help me contest the gross inequity of our divorce settlement.

While I’d never do anything to expedite the process, my fervent wish is to outlive him so I can witness the end of the emotional abuse of our sons. Better they live with the select, good memories of their misleading father than the actuality of a man who will never put their needs above his own, and never be truthful to them. And continue to believe he had every right to cheat, steal and lie.

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
7 years ago

Me, too. It is nice that we can let one another have individualized definitions and experiences. Heartwarming. 🙂

SerialChump
SerialChump
7 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

I am googling about cheating on the early months of relationship. I am thankful to have found your site. I have always been a victim/chooser of cheating men. I don’t know what it is in me. The last guy who cheated on me? I kept him as a friend. I am hoping to learn why I keep getting cheated on. I want to heal my inner wound this time.

MotherChumper99
MotherChumper99
7 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Omg ????
“Forgiveness to me is acceptance, which is meh. I don’t wish you dead. Consider yourself forgiven. Works for me.”
HELL TO THE YES!!!!!

Giddy eagle
Giddy eagle
7 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

I met with my teenage daughter’s therapist this week. My position is that I will accept and move on, but never forgive. What he’s done to me and my daughter is unforgivable. He’s been lying to her for her entire life. To me, he’s been unfaithful, deceiving, withholding, manipulative, abusive, etc.

She proceeded to tell me that he didn’t cheat on my daughter, he cheated on me. She’s not getting divorced; her parents are.

The therapist told me that I’m playing the victim — uh, yeah, because I am the victim –and followed with the “what was going on in the marriage that caused him to seek other women” bullshit. The “It’s a symptom of an underlying problem” crap.

I am not so clueless to think that I was an innocient bystander in the marriage, but when your spouse flat out lies to you and misdirects you with the “I’m stressed at work BS,” it’s pretty damn hard to have a productive conversation. When he lies dueing marriage counseling, it’s pretty damn hard to reverse course.

Should I have left him then? Perhaps. But I was committed to him, our marriage and our family. Why would I walk away without understanding what was going on with him. So I hung in there, repeatedly getting rebuffed whenever I reach out to him to understand why he was so irritated all the time.

In closing I recently read a book about forgiveness. I did a mental “search and replace” and uses the word accept instead of forgive. I will accept, I will move on, but I will never forgive. When I get to meh, I’ll know I’m there.

insistonhonesty
insistonhonesty
7 years ago
Reply to  Giddy eagle

“The therapist told me that I’m playing the victim — uh, yeah, because I am the victim –and followed with the “what was going on in the marriage that caused him to seek other women” bullshit. The “It’s a symptom of an underlying problem” crap.”

What was going on in the marriage, even if it was all your fault, would have been a great reason for him to get a DIVORCE, not CHEAT.

A therapist who cannot see the faultless logic of that very simple solution should not be entrusted to the care of anyone’s mental and emotional health, much less that of a young girl.

QueenMother
QueenMother
7 years ago
Reply to  Giddy eagle

Yah Giddy Eagle, I’m thinking report that dumbass of a therapist to the licensing board. Once I get a chance, I’m going to do the same for the ignorant therapists who muffed with my head about Cheaterpants and his damn lies, blame throwing and gas lighting.

Longtimechump
Longtimechump
7 years ago
Reply to  Giddy eagle

GiddyEagle, I could have written this. The cheater told me yesterday he had actually proposed to divorce twice in the last 10 years and he didn’t because I begged him not to. Well, yes! Because the reason he gave me was that we could not understand each other, we did not have the same life goals. Nothing on his actual cheating! Of course I was committed to him and our marriage and I wanted to work on our broken communication and common goals. Our “disagreement” was mainly around me wanting children and him diligently finding reasons to postpone this and then finally 3 years later admitting he was not interested. He would also get mad if I had called him at 8pm asking when to expect him for dinner. He said I was controlling and wanted to domesticate him. Now I understand the need for secrecy around his “work” schedule and “business” travels. At the time I didn’t. So an innocent “how was your day” could have turned into a fight of epic proportions with accusations of me being controlling and sticking my nose into his work matters. He was always busy, unavailable and tired. The more I begged for togetherness the more controlling I was called. He finally figured it would be better to get me busy with child rearing and off his back so he agreed to have one. And I got busy. Since he never got involved in the child rearing I was doing it all, plus house chores, plus work. So now he accuses me of neglecting him and focusing on our son only which pushed him into more cheating.

I get it now. The more I engage with him the more interesting things I will discover about me being the reason for his cheating. It’s all me. Of course if I worked better on our communications early on…blah blah blah.

So I tell him: you wanted this divorce 10 years ago? I disagreed? I agree now. Granted. Enjoy!

Enraged
Enraged
7 years ago
Reply to  Giddy eagle

Cheater disguised as a therapist! The worst kind!
I put her discourse on the same level as prostitutes who claim their “job” is helping marriages!
Ha Ha!

Amazon Chump
Amazon Chump
7 years ago
Reply to  Enraged

My ex-hole’s skank IS a Family Therapist at a University and is the Interim Director in the School of Social Work! How screwed up is that! She’s the one that sent me a letter that got processed through the UBT (https://www.chumplady.com/2015/11/ubt-ow-i-just-want-to-reach-out-and-help-you). I had a dick for a husband who had a master manipulator for a skank. And she just knew that God put them together for a reason; for TWU WUV! No wonder I was so messed up. Nope, can’t even trust the counselors

Longtimechump
Longtimechump
7 years ago
Reply to  Amazon Chump

OMG Amazon Chump! Just read her email. And CL’s translation. Hillarious! I lol’ed when CL said the OW was so tired she had to lie down. To fuck your husband. Un-fucking-believable shit these cheaters say in tandem with their APs.
No wonder you don’t trust therapists…

Free Vixen
Free Vixen
7 years ago
Reply to  Giddy eagle

Oh hell no. I’d get your daughter away from this quack PRONTO, and gift her a copy of CL’s book as a parting gift. She clearly needs come continuing ed.

Eilonwy
Eilonwy
7 years ago
Reply to  Giddy eagle

You need to have a conversation with the therapist. One that probably ends with, “Thanks for your time. We will be ending this relationship.”

Your EX did cheat on your daughter. Every time he was with his OA and not with his family, he was denying her the parenting she deserves. Every time he spent a cent on or with the OA he was draining resources that belonged to the family, including your daughter. Every time he lied to you, he was teaching her that women do not deserve respect and integrity and cheating her of a healthy model of adult, sexual relationships.

If your EX means he didn’t have sex with your daughter, then yippee for him. That just means he’s not an incestuous pedophile; it doesn’t clear him of cheating charges.

ICanSeeTheMehComing!
ICanSeeTheMehComing!
7 years ago
Reply to  Eilonwy

Nailed it.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  Eilonwy

Applause, Eilonwy! Great response.

JesssMom
JesssMom
7 years ago
Reply to  Giddy eagle

I am so sorry you had to hear that from a “professional” — especially while you were there to support your child. Therapists who take this approach can do so much damage to chumps and their children.

Sucker Punched by a Saffa
Sucker Punched by a Saffa
7 years ago
Reply to  JesssMom

I believe it’s called therapy induced trauma-dump that therapist a.s.a.p.

KathleenK
KathleenK
7 years ago
Reply to  Giddy eagle

OMG get your daughter a different therapist.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  KathleenK

I agree–your daughter will not receive validation or sufficient help from a therapist who minimizes what your X did to you AND to her. Compare that to my daughter’s therapist who told her, “Your father betrayed you, too.”

Run, GiddlyEagle. You did not deserve that.

Doingme
Doingme
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Playing the victim?

Talk about compartmentalizing. These types of therapists look at ‘divorce’ as in, it takes two.

Side stepping the abuse and trauma is a red flag. I hope you find a skilled therapist in the future.

Gail
Gail
7 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Would you forgive your spouse if he came home with and bomb and blew you and your family up then ran off with a secret girlfriend and your life savings! He left you homeless, your children for dead, your broke for retirement! He drained you during the divorce battle and avoided paying any support! But now I am suppose to be happy for your and schmoop! Your right i wouldn’t be nice if I didn’t make you feel guilty….f—k yourself!

Amazon Chump
Amazon Chump
7 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Hi CL. I don’t know if I’m in the group of ‘forgiveness people’, but for me, I really did have to ‘forgive’ to get over the anger and bitterness that took up residence in my heart. I also seemed to be alienating a bunch of people to include one of my own sons. I did not like who I became. I’m “nice” and I was acting ugly! Now, two years later, I know I needed to get righteously angry, exactly as you purport, in order to heal. I needed to see that I was abused and had been for years What a class-A dick I was married to! I’m actually a bit peeved at myself for listening to the Forgiveness Trolls who had no idea what I was going through. I wish I had read your advice much sooner. What would really be nice is if you could give us techniques to talk to the Forgiveness Trolls when they spout out unthinkingly, “Oh! You have to forgive!” I think forgiveness was especially hard for me because I kept thinking, “What would Jesus Do?” He forgave us so many of our transgressions. He died on the cross for us. And here I was not forgiving. Plus I got married in the Catholic church and marriage is a Sacrament. I was REALLY confused. Talk about the Catholic guilt meter being pegged all the way to the right! I’m happy to say that 2 years later I’ve managed to reach the other side (for the most part.) I had to go back and read a lot of Scripture on divorce. Corinthians 7:13 helped me a bunch. I had to see that my ex-hole was not a ‘believer’ and it was okay to divorce him. I also had to read passages where Jesus exhibited righteous anger. I also had to read multiple sources on ‘Forgiveness’ before I found something that I could stomach. Just what exactly is forgiveness? So when I read (again a Catholic source), I found:

Forgiveness is not:
• A feeling
• Letting the other person off the hook
• Forgetting the wounds he/she caused you
• Blindly trusting him or her again (that may be very irresponsible!)
• Feeling friendly toward the person
• Thinking that you have to be “friends” again (it may not be possible right now)
• Having to dismiss restitution that should be paid
Forgiveness is:
• An act of the will; Choosing to detach from revenge
• Trusting that God will bring perfect justice in His time (and His way)
• Knowing it’s okay not to like someone but to still love him/her
• Still being able to kindly set and enforce healthy boundaries with the person
• Seeing the other person as deserving of kindness, even if you don’t like him/her
• Focusing less on your rights and more on your responsibility to forgive
• Obedience to God’s command

Now I’m not telling you that I don’t wish his demise. I still dream that his skank is going to Bobbittize him when he decides he’s not in TWU WUV anymore. I even tell my sons that I don’t want to hear anything about their dad unless it’s bad. In fact I don’t think I’ve yet reached the land of Meh, but I can see it on the horizon. Thank you so VERY, VERY much! You have been instrumental in getting me this far and I believe that someday I will be able to give sound advice, “ChumpLady advice”, to anyone that goes through what we’ve gone through. And I will definitely allow someone to rant as long as they need and probably participate in destructive fantasies to help the next victim to heal and move on in life.

MJB
MJB
7 years ago
Reply to  Amazon Chump

I really like this post Amazon Chump. I think finding ‘meh’ is really a form of going through all the stages of grief and reaching ‘acceptance’. Acceptance is trusting they suck all summed up. Anger is a stage of grief. Everyone has their own timelines, but hopefully no chump gets stuck. CL and CN ensure no chump is left behind.

When I first started reading CL, I thought it was a bit harsh for my cheater. He is Catholic and he was sure going to church alot (he started going without me which put me on alert he may be up to something). Thank goodness I kept coming back to CN for more. It really helped validate my feelings along the way and helped me through the stages. I’m not truly at meh, but I’m getting there….

Amazon Chump
Amazon Chump
7 years ago
Reply to  MJB

I’m glad you’re getting to Meh too. And just because someone is Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Atheist, or whatever, it doesn’t mean that they don’t sin (as I’m sure you’re already aware) and that they can sin grievously. It just means that they’re human. I now realize that CL is appropriately harsh. Those cheaters CHOSE to behave the way they did. My problem is that I projected my morals and ethics on my ex-hole thinking that he thought like I did. I had to realize that some people (and I was married to one) have no empathy and it’s all about them. (Sociopaths?) It was us, the ‘nice’ people, that needed CL to give us a good firm kick in the butt to come to the conclusion of “Trust that they suck!” That took me a very long time. Now I trust that he sucks!

Her Blondeness
Her Blondeness
7 years ago
Reply to  Amazon Chump

Amazon Chump:

Thank you for posting the definition of forgiveness from a Catholic perspective. I wish I had this when Uncle Priest called to try and talk me out of divorcing Cheater #1.

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
7 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

This might be similar to what forgiveness became to me after some work with a therapist I liked.

She said forgiving the cheater is like forgiving a bad debt. You recognize the person is never going to pay the debt and you write it off as lost. It becomes your past.

Then, you change your “loan” policies to avoid that sort of risk in the future, and you NEVER extend another “loan” to that person or any other person who makes a similar proposal. Door shut, no negotiating.

When I employ this definition of forgiveness in my mind, I feel empowered to think of him like a mistake I don’t get have to make again, and, for me, this is empowering.

I don’t know if that’s the same or similar to what you meant, but it helps me, anyway.

Chumptitude
Chumptitude
7 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

So true about the bad loan!

Another analogy I learned here at CN is that of Maddoff. Hundreds of people lost massive amount because he lied to them for years…

To me, my cheater X is like Madoff, he put together a great front, but it’s all a big Ponzi scheme…

Unfortunately, shared custody with those disordered fuckwits feels like the courts are mandating me to use a convicted Maddoff as my CPA… Entrusting him with shared cudtody of our kiddo, the person I want most to proteft against his cluster b tendencies… The courts are unfortunately not going to do much as he is not so blatantly incompetent that thr would change our custody agreement… So the shit sandwiches will keep on coming, but no longer being married to him is a great step forward!!

moving forward
moving forward
7 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

Love this!

Michael
Michael
7 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

I get the feeling that the forgiveness trolls have this idea that we’re these brooding, abandoned people who sit around with a strong hatred of our cheaters and plotting revenge. And this is something that will eventual consume us until one day we become some sort of … Batman. While emotions like that certainly crossed my mind especially at the beginning, I think most of us are just trying to get through our day and make ends meet and hold together what remnant of a family we have left. And in between taking care of business we sometimes take the time to evaluate our heart condition but it’s also a condition that doesn’t leave us alone and we function despite it. And we wait and we wait until one day we realize that we just don’t care anymore. Forgiveness is part waiving debt and part apathy. I’m sure most of us are not sitting around designing a bat cave but we are waiting for feelings to subside. For me overwhelming feelings were disappointment and abandonment not anger although that was a part of it.

Just a guess about forgiveness trolls but seems appropriate today according to troll logic.

BetrayedNoMore
BetrayedNoMore
7 years ago
Reply to  Michael

Crap… And I just ordered new blackout drapes for my batcave too.

I’ve always felt I have to earn forgiveness from others when I screw-up. I’m the one obligated to make amends. So why can’t I apply those same standards to others? Why must I find forgiveness of others within myself?

The people who were supposed to be closest to me used my empathy against me – #whothefuckdoesthat??!! Don’t look to me for forgiveness. I like my angry unforgiving cave. The anger keeps my idiot inner-chump duct-taped to a stalagmite deep in the bottom of the cavern.

Chumptitude
Chumptitude
7 years ago
Reply to  BetrayedNoMore

Dang you can buy black out shades??? I didn’t know and straight up boarded up all my windows… Keeping to myself with nothing but two voodoo dolls I poke in various places from dawn to dusk… Wait how would I know the time in my cave…? Oh right, I don’t do any of these cave things…

Instead I’ve been busy… Doing things like more than doubling my salary. I’m also 3/4 done with a rigorous certification program I started during the divorce process, my kiddo has had her best report card in years thanks to the therapy and tutoring sessions I’m facilitating and paying for, I could aldo pay for her braces all on my own, and we’re traveling to our favorite city for spring break…

Bitter bunny? Absolutly, fuck forgiveness, I’m too busy building our best post-cheater life!

Gail
Gail
7 years ago
Reply to  Chumptitude

Awsome …… me too…found out I had less staying with him! Grateful he left after 36 years but will never forgive him for stealing my life and ruining my children’s lives!

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  Chumptitude

You rock, Chumptitude–if your voodoo dolls fall apart, I have backups direct from New Orleans I can send you.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  BetrayedNoMore

Brew some coffee–I’ll come join you in your angry unforgiving cave (and will help you hang those new draperies).

KarenE
KarenE
7 years ago
Reply to  Michael

That, plus I think a lot of the ‘forgiveness trolls’ just love that feeling of superiority it gives them, when they’re telling you how you should ‘rise above’ and ‘be the better person’. Because that’s TOTALLY what they would do, if they ever found themselves in this situation they have no experience of (which would never happen, of course, their marriage is solid!). That self-righteous high, I hear it’s quite addicting.

Susannah
Susannah
7 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

Gag – “be the better person.” I am already the better person because I didn’t cheat. Rise above what? I can stand upright with my head held high without doing anything different from what I am already – I’m not the one rolling around in the gutter.

MJB
MJB
7 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

Amiisfree, I really like this-why I keep coming back here daily (well several times a day).

There are times I think maybe he’s not so bad, he’s the father of my children. I am usually optimistic and let the bad stuff roll off me. The intnese anger has subsided. I get random texts from him about the kids and I never reply.

He’s a physician. Dday #1 was a nurse he worked with–she was on her second husband and had been cheating on him. She was quite a prize to leave your wife and 2 young children for. Came begging back and I let him. Fast forward several years and Dday #2 is our daughter’s assistant high school soccer coach (in her 20’s).

Now going on one year since Dday and divorced for 6 months, I trust that he sucks. The whole world revolves around his wants and needs. I couldn’t truly see that during the marriage. I always said he was ‘high-maintenance’.

Now the kids tell me dad can’t pay $80 for this or that. They always come to me for their needs cause ‘dad’s saving up to buy a house’. Asshole. Makes 4 times what I make.

What most cheater apologists don’t understand is this is who the cheater is. In all aspects of life. They apply their morals and values and try to think like a cheater. Maybe the cheater just lost their way. They must be miserable having lost their family. Maybe the cheater is miserable now, but they couldn’t have cared less during their luuuuuvvvvv fest.

Ohana
Ohana
7 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

That’s how I see it, too, Amiisfree. I forget the source that introduced me to the idea. It was in one of the many books I read trying to figure out how the hell I let myself be conned and betrayed like that and how I could gain some reasonable confidence it would not happen again. The concept of writing x off as a bad debt was so helpful. I hadn’t articulated the idea of a new loan policy but that is spot on, too.

Actually the loan policy reminds me of a poker playing concept from Dan Harrington. It is the strategy of putting oneself in situations where the decisions are very clear cut. You might not always make the right decision or get lucky but there is never that awful confusion where you’re flailing around and are more likely to have a poor outcome. I.e., like dealing with a cheater. I apply it to a lot of life situations.

When I see someone who is consistently acting in a narcissistic manner, I step away. If it was something minor or ambiguous, I might give them a chance or two to demonstrate the first observation was out of character (anyone can have a bad day) but if the pattern continues, even if it’s only seemingly small things, I’m very quick to disengage. I don’t want to put myself in a confusing situation. The new loan policy is a great way to describe the same thing. Thanks for that analogy!

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
7 years ago
Reply to  Ohana

Yep, it’s like hearing a bad noise coming from under the hood of a used car you’re considering buying. “Hmm, I had an old Camaro that made that exact same noise, and I ended up dumping years of my life, my heart, my faith in humanity into it and at times lost my will to live. So, no, I don’t think I’ll buy this car that makes that same noise.”

KathleenK
KathleenK
7 years ago
Reply to  NWBiblio

???

PuraVida
PuraVida
7 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

I love that — thank you for sharing!

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
7 years ago
Reply to  PuraVida

Nice analogy. I’m “writing off” my entire marriage as an epic mistake. But personally, I can’t forgive the wrong.

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
7 years ago

I don’t think one has to forgive the wrong to let a thing become the past (meh) over time. In fact, for me, I think when it comes to betrayal, it might be impossible to let it fall to the past without acknowledging clearly that treating me like that is wrong, it is not ok, and nothing will ever make it ok.

WellRid
WellRid
7 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

“I don’t wish you dead. Consider yourself forgiven.”
– really brilliant CL ?

I’m going to use it every time that bloody word “forgive” is used in my presence in future!

saw
saw
7 years ago
Reply to  WellRid

This ?! 6th

saw
saw
7 years ago
Reply to  saw

Apparently, I can’t type today.

Morse
Morse
7 years ago
Reply to  saw

I recently said (I’m not at meh) “I don’t wish you dead, but I won’t be at your funeral”

Murphy Cee
Murphy Cee
7 years ago

She’s an advocate for Premature Forgiveness. Where did this idea come from, that there is a “right” amount of time to live our emotions, then it’s time to Stop.

When my ex and I split I was a mess, and I was open with my family. After a few weeks they started telling me to “pull it together”, some even screaming at me “STOP” when I was crying or wailing.

2 months ago my brother, one of the loudest advocates of me “pulling it together” told me that he suspected (hahaha) that I might be the only one in our family who actually feels their feelings and, while I’ve been harshly judged, I might actually be the healthy one.

It got me to wondering — how many of us who stay chumps are from families who denied feelings? Is there a connection between being raised to “suck it up”, “get over it”, “stop carrying on” and putting up with the horrendous behavior of a cheater for way too long?

If I was taught that feelings, even negative ones, are OK, would I have felt the pain of his betrayal fully enough to have left then? Monday morning quarterbacking, yes, but maybe there is a connection.

Isis
Isis
7 years ago
Reply to  Murphy Cee

Good insight! There is definitely a connection. When you grow up with a mentally ill parent and have to censor your emotions or be punished (“stop crying or I will give you something to cry about”), you can’t learn to process, understand, and cope with emotions in a healthy way. It makes us very vulnerable to narcissists and borderlines.

Giddy Eagle
Giddy Eagle
7 years ago
Reply to  Murphy Cee

I thought I was smart. I knew I didn’t have good role models for a healthy relationship. I was AWARE. I was conscious. I was deliberate. I waited over a year aftr our engagement o set a date so I could be CLEAR. I didn’t marry until 30 and didn’t have my daughter until 40.

I chose this man (ok, boy) because I thought he was steadfast, solid and for his POTENTIAL. I could see the man he could become. He didn’t. And I didn’t listen to that little voice in my head when he did things that didn’t align with my values. I was too blinded by my belief in him.

I pray that my daughter will learn from my mistakes when she’s ready to hear my regrets and lessons learned. My mother never had the clarity to do so with me.

Where was I going with all of this??

Oh yes, emotions. My STBX doesn’t have them. And my daughter is afraid of them. And I live in my emotions. Daughter gets FURIOUS if I tear up when she’s upset. She yells at me, clams up and storms off. the result is that she feels like she can’t talk to me. I’m trying, but I can’t help the sadness I feel when she’s in pain about her father and what he’s done to the family.

I used to be tough. A force of nature. I remember the moment my heart melted. It was at a wedding shortly after I got engaged. I wish I had a better poker face. Damn, I wish I had any kind of poker face. I’m about as transparent as they come. While I’d rather be in touch wihbjynfeelings rather than clueless, it has its drawbacks, for sure.

I feel like I’m rambling. Sorry about that. Live you all. You give me clarity and strength. I feel like you are my pack. What dontjey call a pack of lions? A PRIDE — YES!! We are a pride. Hear us roar.

Giddy Eagle
Giddy Eagle
7 years ago
Reply to  Giddy Eagle

Argh!! Damn autocorrect on the phone. Hope you can read through all the typos.

JeepTess
JeepTess
7 years ago
Reply to  Murphy Cee

Murphy Cee, raising my hand here. Yep. My father is a raging alcoholic abusive narcissist. I and my siblings were raised to be seen and not heard and never, ever cry…oh geeze!…that would be certain death at his hand! So…yes. I’m certain my siblings are exactly like yours. I was always the expressive one and the one in trouble all the time because of it.

…crybaby…stupid (thought that was my middle name for a whole lot of years 🙁 )…get outta my sight momma’s baby…

I’m also of a mind that that early conditioning is what made me a perfect target for lying cheating coward boy…I eventually learned to be quiet 🙁 and just take it…must be how it is for all children right? Ugh… So, yes, dad taught me well…perfect doormat wife.

Feelingit
Feelingit
7 years ago
Reply to  Murphy Cee

So agree with the fact we chumps have been conditioned to deny our feelings and that does make a person feel crazy. My d day was last May when my husband of 26 years and father of our 5 children told me he was a cheater and had been for years ,and he couldn’t take it anymore. I went total chump apologizing, begging and trying to fix things. Fast forward 9 months of hell and I have finally realized my problem was denying my feelings and trying to please this control freak (won’t ever happen). I realized in a lot of ways I had married my mother who was very emotionally detached. She would tell me and my sister we were too sensitive.

I married a sociopathic gas lighter who can’t relate to feelings and if you try to express them, he tells you your feelings are wrong. He and his mother are so intertwined I think they never cut the cord. At 71, she works in his business for no compensation and has not had a friend in the 30 years that I have known her. She completely controls her husband and he calls her “boss”. She has not spoken to her grandchildren who live a mile away since she uninvited them for Christmas because “they don’t want to be around their father and that makes me sad.” She has never once talked to them about the fact that their father walked out on them and is having an an adulterous affair. Apple didn’t fall far from the tree- like I said, I think it is still attached.

So I make of point of letting my children know their feelings are real. I just hope they can learn this.

My lawyer validates my feelings and I am in the process of filing. We will see how cheater feels about that. Someday I will forgive but for my children’s sake and mine, I need to be angry for now!

Amazon Chump
Amazon Chump
7 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

After I chastised my ex-hole for his snapping at me, he said, “Well you don’t have to be so sensitive!” I replied, “Whether I’m sensitive or not does not excuse your bad behavior. Do not talk to me like that.” That was year number 30 of being married. I think that’s finally when I realized that I had a right to be treated properly and my feelings did count even though the dickhead didn’t think so.

Jojobee
Jojobee
7 years ago
Reply to  Murphy Cee

Murphy,
I think there is a lot to this. My family was appalled by my behavior and considered whether or not they should call mental health professionals because I was “still” weeping and a mess a WEEK after my mom died. The message was loud and clear. Is it any wonder they acted like I was crazy to be SO upset when my husband was hiring prostitutes? This idea that everyone is only healthy if they seem to act like nothing hurts them is becoming more and more prevalent. I think it’s the opposite. At one point after my husband’s shenanigans I told my doctor that although the antidepressants had controlled some symptoms like bursting into tears several times a day, they really hadn’t made me FEEL differently. I still felt depressed. He said, “Well, even that makes it easier for those around you.” And that is when it hit me. My treatment wasn’t about me at all. It was about making my terrible situation more comfortable for other people. Why is having feelings of horror at horrifying situations so disturbing to us?

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  Jojobee

I agree, Jojobee–much of other people’s advice or reactions are about THEM.

I can live with people saying, “I can’t hear any more about your divorce. I’m tapped out.” That’s at least honest. But don’t tell me to get over it; the 3 people who have done so did not get a positive reaction from me.

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
7 years ago
Reply to  Murphy Cee

“It got me to wondering — how many of us who stay chumps are from families who denied feelings? Is there a connection between being raised to “suck it up”, “get over it”, “stop carrying on” and putting up with the horrendous behavior of a cheater for way too long?”

I think so. I was raised to tolerate all sorts of bad behavior. Therefore (before the cheating), I thought it was my duty to persevere.

Furthermore, I had a good friend — my best friend other than XH, I thought — who accompanied me to the divorce hearing for moral support. But even she gave way after about two months, said her hair was falling out because of the stress of being caught between me & XH (who was living in her house after I kicked him out). Here’s the point: I felt BAD for her! My grief had caused her distress, and if I would just stop being so angry, then she & I could go back to being friends, and it would be nice & easy again…. Needless to say, she is no longer my friend, and I’m sure she & her husband & XH & OW are all sitting around their dinner table, where I used to be, just as I predicted but she said No I would never be replaced. Ha!

Everything is purified in the crucible.

validated
validated
7 years ago
Reply to  Murphy Cee

I think you’re right on with that. I think one of the reasons I fell so hard for x was the familiarity of his manner of attention, it was what felt like love to me. All of it, the sparkly attention, the diversions from my questions about behavior or statements, the raging, all of the playbook control tactics.

coolbreezeout
coolbreezeout
7 years ago

I dealt with a “forgiveness troll” who is also a chump!

I was finally tired of the constant lies, husband needing therapy to keep from jacking off to porn, and him having the relationship skills of an adolescent because he spent so much time doing something only normal for a sixteen year old – I was calling it quits.

She, of course, was so much more refined. She was too wonderful of a person to let anger ‘consume her’ and she understood the importance of forgiveness. Okay – that is awesome. It wasn’t enough that she was happy with her decision, every single time I talked about finding a divorce lawyer or going gray rock, she would be right there letting me know she was so much more mentally free now that she fully embraced her husband and his ‘issues’. He was sorry and their love was stronger than him denying her sex for years because he was too busy jacking off to porn. Yes, he neglected her and the children for years and yes he lied about his activities and yes he still got caught in lies today – but their love transcends flaws and she was so sad that I didn’t have a chance to experience true love that could overcome small trials like they had.

She didn’t have full disclosure, nor did she need it, because, “She was choosing to embrace forgiveness and focus on all the things he has done that are great.” Oh yeah, instead of getting full disclosure and “tearing her husband down” as I did by requiring my husband to take a polygraph, she was focusing on “building her husband up” by moving beyond his problems. She was also not requiring restitution, because that was just punishment and she didn’t want to teach that to her young children. She was teaching them to , “Love through hurt and pain” rather than punish someone for simply making a mistake.

I finally had to dump that site, even though there were some supportive people there, because I got tired of constantly being bombarded with the notion that I didn’t “love strong enough” or I was damaging my children by filing for divorce because I wasn’t teaching them to “love through pain”.

I am convinced her constant attacks of me were because she was seeing me become mighty and that intimidated her. It felt like I was dealing with the psychologist from the movie, “First Wives Club”. The one who kept telling Diane Keaton’s character to “grow from love” when she was actually screwing her husband!

MightyE
MightyE
7 years ago
Reply to  coolbreezeout

Omg. I can’t even imagine not demanding full disclosure.

Even if I entertained the notions of unicorns, step two of the process (step one being of course “never ever speak to that homewrecking piece of garbage again”) would be “answer every question I ask, multiple times if necessary, over as long a time period as I require, leaving out nothing. And say you’re sorry while you’re answering.”

So many chumps seem to lose sight of the fact that we are the ones who have been wronged. The work we have to do after infidelity is repair on ourselves from damage someone else caused. Anybody who says you have to be unselfish and giving all the time while doing those repairs can fuck right off.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  MightyE

That’s because after D-day we’re bombarded with the cheater’s refusal to admit that we (the chump) have been wronged.

MightyE
MightyE
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Sadly true. As utterly mindfucking as I find it to discover they all read from the same script, it’s another layer of mindfuck to realize how awful and dysfunctional the script is. “You made me do it,” being possibly the worst line.

Butterbean
Butterbean
7 years ago
Reply to  coolbreezeout

I have a friend who is a chump. A chump to the point that her STBXH and his OW are living on their 500 acre FAMILY farm while she moved out and has a yard the size of a cemetery plot.

When I vent and breathe fire about Scuzzy, she regards me with a weird detached look of calm, and says: Why would you even think about him anymore? A bit judgy…..absolutely superior. She quickly taught me not to explore my revenge fantasies with her.

I thought this was going to end the friendship, but I just decided to let it go. If she was not angry on her on behalf, I was not going to stoke the flames and make her the scary dragon I can be.

About 2 months ago, we went to an Italian place for lunch. They brought the bread and the olive oil/ herbs dipping sauce. I dipped and said, This oil is cheap or old. I am going to get us some real butter.

She tried it and LOST.HER.MIND. She called the waitress over and began haranguing her as if she had brought us motor oil for our bread. I was so shocked, I got strangled on my drink. Shouting, slamming the little white plate, waving her arms around.

The waitress apologized profusely. I finally got out, “It is not the waitress’s fault. It is the kitchen. But it’s just bread!”

It volcanos out….they are just not brave enough, scared to label it, or still stuck in fantasy world, frantically hunting unicorns…but deep inside they know they are still eating a shit sandwich.

She is a powerful person. I think if she would get righteous angry, she would feel like she had the weight of the world off her shoulders.

So, after things had calmed down and her face was not flushed with rage over bad olive oil, I said…”There’s this writer and her website you should take a look at……”

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  Butterbean

I got a letter from the GF of a long-time friend who had been a chump herself several decades ago. My friend let her read some guest columns I wrote for CL (which I guess she found ‘bitter’), and she also knew I was friends with a number of people from the website. While interspersed with good advice was good, and the woman was obviously well-intentioned, I found aspects of that letter damaging and patronizing:

“Dear Tempest, My credentials include, at one time, a long time ago, having a philandering husband. Obviously 40 years has given me lots of time to gain a different perspective, but I hope that some of my insights gained over that time might be helpful for you. Let me start with a favorite saying of one of my best friends, “forgiving lets you free yourself, of the time energy, and emotion of hating someone else.” As long as you are tied up in an energy sapping, and typically one sided hate relationship, you are prevented from moving on. ….Moving on is possible. Open your heart and your mind to the possibility of new relationships – not just with men – but also with women, with whom you have more of a bond than just reinforcing the sad vagaries of life.*** Wallow in the possibilities not the pain.

….Affirm your strength; your strength to be a good parent, a loyal friend and maybe ultimately a warm and caring lover. And for your children’s sake make friends with their Father. As I told my divorced son, the best gift he could give his daughter is to be friends with her Mother and he did it, and is immensely rewarded with a balanced and open child – comfortable with knowing that both parents love her and respect each other. …..I urge you to reward yourself! Reward yourself by surrounding yourself with affirmation and hope. Reject negativity and regret, or ultimately that is all you will have.”

***I’m sure it will surprise all my CL friends to know that we share nothing more than the “sad vagaries of life.”

MrsVain
MrsVain
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

in my opinion, if my ex was friends with me in the first place, and treated me like he does his friends, then we would not have gotten a divorce at all and would still be married.. ..

how the hell can you be friends with someone who betrayed, lied and cheated you? if he did not have any respect for you to do that while we were married, how in the everlasting mindblowing world do “they” think he is going to do it AFTER we are divorced?

seems a little too little a little to late… ..”for the kids” well i have not killed my boys father, and he is still alive.. .. i do not bad mouth him.. .. i havent blown up his truck or house.. ..i let the loser in my house to visit my boys without saying a word.. .. .. so i think i have done enough “for the kids”.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Even my therapist, when I mentioned the “be friends with your X” advice instantly said, “oh, hell no!”

Butterbean
Butterbean
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Sad vagaries of life leapt out at me as well, as well her nauseating tone of superiority.

I don’t know how to sort out a woman like this. My initial instinct is she is jealous because you have the guts to say clearly No, I do NOT enjoy shit hoagies, and then got to write about it in a kick ass manner.

My second instinct would be to slap her smug face with a big wet slice of eggplant.

I don’t buy her calm, ordered acceptance of someone making a fool of her (philandering! like a medical procedure…a clean word) unless she has early onset dementia, and she has just forgotten the daily gut stab and gagging fits that so many innocence “vagaries” can trigger.

Survivor
Survivor
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Your therapist is a keeper.

theotherwhitemansburden
theotherwhitemansburden
7 years ago
Reply to  coolbreezeout

“Love through pain” sounds like a first-class mindfuck. I truly hope my children don’t learn to do anything though pain: eat, plan their retirement, paint their nails — really, anything. Eliminate pain first, then do shit seems like a saner plan to me.

newdaydawning
newdaydawning
7 years ago

I’m not bitter, I’m realistic. I know what love and commitment looks like and what it doesn’t look like. The saying to err is human to forgive is divine must have been written by a cheater. You want forgiveness talk to whatever higher power you believe in. I was told that I needed to forgive x for my own happiness. Well guess what? I will never forgive him and I AM happy. Happy that I finally found the self respect to know I deserved better. Happy I have a chance for a life with people who truly care for and respect me. Forgiveness is for people who are truly sorry for their actions, it’s not a get out of jail free card. Like most things in life you have to earn it. I will never forgive x. I have forgotten him and moved past him but I will never forgive him. And I am perfectly fine and happy with that. I hate to break his ego bubble but I don’t care enough anymore to be bitter.

Susannah
Susannah
7 years ago
Reply to  newdaydawning

Alexander Pope wrote “To err is human, to forgive is divine” in his essay on criticism. He never married, probably because a form of tuberculosis damaged his bones – leaving him only 4’6″ tall. He died surrounded by friends, and left the bulk of his estate to a lifelong family friend, Martha Blount.

getting real
getting real
7 years ago
Reply to  newdaydawning

F– that: need to forgive cheater in order to be happy??! What, even in forgiveness they STILL want centrality? Hello. Forgiveness as about the one who was trespassed, not the trespasser.

theotherwhitemansburden
theotherwhitemansburden
7 years ago
Reply to  newdaydawning

Yes, where did this idea that we can’t be happy without forgiving? I’m plenty happy, no need to forgive something unforgivable. Also don’t need to believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast. Some things are not necessary to be happy.

midlifeBlast
midlifeBlast
7 years ago

I had a lovely friend from school who refused to have a reunion with the class bully (I think she got a lot of abuse from her)

I said to her “but she’s different now, she’s not like that, Ive had long conversations with her, you must meet her again” but my friend said “she may well be different but there’s just not enough time, I’m busy, there’s so many people in the world to meet, I just don’t have enough time in my life to see her again” 🙂

Divorce Minister
Divorce Minister
7 years ago

It is hard–i.e impossible–to really forgive someone if you are still struggling to believe or know what they did and that it was wrong. Often, faithful spouses, chumps, aren’t even given all the facts about what their cheater did.

Also, I think this person makes the classical error of ignoring the need to grieve in order to stuff forgiveness advice on us. Forgiveness does not take away the need to grieve real losses. But it does have the potential of keeping us stuck in denial…not a good thing.

chump-tastic
chump-tastic
7 years ago

DM for the win as usual. “Forgiveness does not take away the need to grieve real losses.” This this this. Thank you. Time healed a lot. I moved on. One day I may even be able to forgive. But that never takes away the consequences of what he did, the need to change my standards to make sure it never happens again, or the need to grieve what happened.

WhoamInow
WhoamInow
7 years ago

The Ex said “You should forgive me”. I said “Where is your remorse?” (crickets)

Butterbean
Butterbean
7 years ago
Reply to  WhoamInow

This is the wall I hit when I try to coach myself into some manner of “letting go.”

How do you even approach forgiving someone who not only has no remorse, but is arrogant, cunning and unrepentant? *Gleeful in his wickedness*

Do you forgive a subhuman? Could I ever have apathy regarding someone who intentionally ran my heart through a food processor?

paigeup
paigeup
7 years ago
Reply to  Butterbean

I’m not always apathetic, but I finally have moments. When CL says we’re too busy being mighty, we can’t do 2 things at once. He & my past are becoming less relevant. Maybe find a word that works for you & let go of a seemingly unreachable goal. I don’t aim for forgiveness. I aim for better selfcare.

Kh
Kh
7 years ago

I’m not sure what’s worse…. The ones who tell you to forgive and move on, or the ones who give advice on how to repair it. They just have no clue!!

NorthernLight
NorthernLight
7 years ago

This is so important: “No, understand the past before you focus on the future, so you don’t repeat the same damn dynamic in your next relationship. Realize you’ve been chumped, get angry, grieve, and THEN move forward. The most important thing you can do is HEAL. Moving “forward” is not the same thing as healing. You can “move forward” with fuck all for understanding. We call that “rug sweeping.””

Someone was pushing me to move forward (and ridiculously, it was less than five months after dday!). I knew enough, thankfully, to tell him I’d take my own damn time grieving because I wanted to work through it in a healthy way. I didn’t want to focus on the future and stop looking at the past. I mean, I was still reeling from the past and wasn’t even divorced yet. Maybe he meant well, and I guess he’d never been through this type of thing. It was a new friendship, and it did not last. That comment was the first red flag, and after the next red flag, I cut him off.

saw
saw
7 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

CL,
I finally got what I fought for and have set goals. I am paralyzed about leaving the farm I have known and loved the entire marriage of almost 20 years. I finally learned to ask for help or I would be walking out the door with no clothes except what I was wearing. It slays me that when I am finally close to the finish line I can’t hardly packed a stupid box. But, I cried out to real friends and my farm children. They are coming out starting tomorrow. I go through so many stages. I walked away from the church of judgement. I was taught better. Thanks for what you do or we chumps would not regain our sanity without this CN.

KathleenK
KathleenK
7 years ago
Reply to  saw

saw,
I’m glad you got what you fought for but it sounds like a rough time right now.
Good luck tomorrow. CN will be thinking of you….hang in there.

Lulu
Lulu
7 years ago

I’m fortunate that all the forgiveness trolls were ex’s side of the family and his friends.

My family and pre-marriage friends were all Knights of Righteous Anger, ready and willing to slay the Forgiveness Trolls.

MJB
MJB
7 years ago
Reply to  Lulu

Lulu, My mom was the voice of reason for me. She told me ‘he’s shown you who he is twice, you need to listen to him’.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago

“To err is human, to forgive supine.”

-Perelman

Fuck forgiveness.

Chompingchump
Chompingchump
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

????

KathleenK
KathleenK
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

???

Beth
Beth
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Bahahahahaha. Love this! My LOL for the morning.

GonnaBeOK
GonnaBeOK
7 years ago

Had lunch with the other day with a friend who apparently has a Swiss visa stamp in her passport.

She said this whole situation I’m in was *unfortunate*. And I should “let it go”. Who knew she was a fan of Frozen. At least she didn’t sing it. I told her a flat tire is unfortunate.

And then she said it’s like stepping in a pile of dog poop. Just scrape it off the bottom of your shoe. I told her to think of it as dog shit purposely shoved in your face. Wash that off.

Again, totally smug and clueless. Other than that, she’s nice and I hope she gets to remain so. And thanks to CL and CN – I’ve been reading for the past 18 months.

Butterbean
Butterbean
7 years ago
Reply to  GonnaBeOK

She was recklessly blithe, glib and trite in the face of your anguish. Does she also go down to St. Jude’s and lecture the children there to buck up and focus on the bright side of their multiple myeloma?

I have buzz words/phrases that let me know I am dealing with a phony: unfortunate is a big one, as well as when someone calls a group of people ” these folks” when they are the position of power, as well as

-you are only hurting yourself

-just move on with your life

and the ever popular, tired, meaningless

– Girl, he’s not worth it!

cheaterssuck
cheaterssuck
7 years ago

I’m with Chump Lady. Acceptance is my “forgiveness.” After a while (of No Contact), I accepted that what the ex did to me was no longer happening anymore. I accepted that he sucked and his cheating said everything about his character and nothing about mine. I didn’t kill him and I didn’t even go all Carrie Underwood on his ass when I found out. Consider him forgiven.

After much reflection, I realized that I didn’t recognize my own self worth by ignoring red flags (before we were married), not enforcing boundaries and staying with him after dday for three years. I’ve forgiven MYSELF for those things. I am much happier these days and I have moved on but it came in my own time.

cccc UK edition
cccc UK edition
7 years ago
Reply to  cheaterssuck

YES YES YES I did not recognise my own self worth and ignored all the red flags that were spotted by my gut but not by my chumpy brain

I too ignored my gut instinct for 10 years after Dday #1 and carried on regardless. My gut instinct was quashed on more than one occasion in that 10 years too. It did not sit well with me for the entire duration that I took him back but I did so told myself to suck it up.

Him going is a blessing – its a shame I was such a chump for almost 28 years. I knew on my wedding day it was wrong. The wedding day he begged and begged for btw – it took ages for me to agree.

I’ll work on forgiving myself as for EX he can go where he wishes as long as its not near me. And now he has disowned our son he shouldn’t have too much trouble staying away. Mind you his life is going down the pan rapidly and soon Slaggy-Anne won’t want him now his pressie giving cash is about to dry up, and the debtors are after him. Lets see how much she really loves him? That might mean he tries to get back in contact. Sadly for him and to my joy I found Chump Lady. Forgive him – no way, Meh him absolutely.

Beth
Beth
7 years ago
Reply to  cheaterssuck

Great post Cheaterssuck! I absolutely agree that forgiving ourselves is MUCH more important for our healing and moving forward than forgiving the cheaters. I did the self reflection thing too and came to very similar conclusions. And now when the “I wish I’d……” thoughts come up again I remind myself that I did the best I could at the time and let those thoughts go.

Moving-Right-Along...
Moving-Right-Along...
7 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Absolutely agree that forgiving yourself is priority. Remind yourself that if you tried reconciliation , the pick-me dance or anything else then you had honorable intentions. You wanted to fix things, make a stable family for your children etc. Well-intentioned but likely misguided. You gave it all you could regardless of where you drew the line and walked away. Forgiveness for the cheater? I think not. What he did was unforgivable. Time for the mighty to accept what is, gather up your children, dignity (and assets!) and march forward.

Ugh no...
Ugh no...
7 years ago

I fell into a sneaky premature forgiveness death spiral whereby I went through the motions of being a benevolent kindness spreader and rage rejector. I realize now it was all image management for me- so I didn’t *look* like the bitter ex wife.
I realized I had to do a 180 when all the seething volcanic hate bubbled up in unexpected ways because I refused to deal with it initially.
Needless to say , I punched some stuff, set a few things (safely) on fire and had to go through the painful phase anyway.
My ex was flabbergasted at the change- but it felt great to be truthful

CAGal
CAGal
7 years ago
Reply to  Ugh no...

I always wondered where the rage was when dealing with this shit. Of course, my blame shifting asshole had me tightly conditioned to NEVER have a thought or emotion that would in any way require him to acknowledge or care. He even once told me that if he did something I didn’t like, I had 20 minutes to formulate my response/voice my opinion. Otherwise, I was just being mean and being “too sensitive.”

I think I was so shut down emotionally toward him (I had no love for him for a long time) that I just couldn’t get in me to be angry. People actually commented how well/calmly I was dealing with the divorce. I said – all the bad stuff has already happened, this is just completing a few forms to deal with the natural consequences.

But what I did notice was once I got him out of the house and out of life… how much calmer I felt. Like I wasn’t so impatient in lines. I didn’t get worked up when driving. I just feel better. I fucking sleep, so I’m not exhausted. My emotional state is not straining at the seams to contain it, so I don’t feel so hair trigger. I think when we are trying to tamp down all the drama at home, so as to not scare our timid forest creature cheater, it seeps out around the edges in life.

KathleenK
KathleenK
7 years ago
Reply to  Ugh no...

We all have to fight that cliche that is our cultural narrative – the minimizing, discounting “bitter X wife” narrative. In fact, I take it as a personal mission to fight the narrative. One of my brother’s most trusted employees embezzled 500K from his company over 5 years. My brother was OUT of his mind angry at this betrayal. He fought so hard to get him to jail (never did). Nobody would ever think to call him a “bitter X employer”! I love having that story at the ready to remind people of the truth of the situation. We didn’t come out of the womb bitter – we are justifiably angry at a betrayal from the one person we thought had our backs. It is the most horrific betrayal possible. And infinitely worse of a betrayal than a betrayal by an employee! It shocks me when people get the embezzlement story more quickly than they get the spouse’s double life story. One friend said she’d have to think about that for a while and get back with me. She is no longer a friend.

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
7 years ago
Reply to  Ugh no...

Same here. My seeming calmness about this whole marriage mess was all image management for me because I don’t want to be seen as an angry and bitter person and I didn’t want STBX to actually have a good reason to want to be rid of me. I want him and everybody else to know he is foolish for leaving me. I also did legitimately worry that being angry and bitter could affect my long term happiness. Part of what destroyed STBX was hanging on to bitterness and resentment over the cruel blows life had dealt him (he felt this way even when he had his own airplane, a $200,000/yr job, three amazing children and a faithful and loving wife) and I didn’t want to be like that. I discovered, however, that all I was doing was suppressing my rage until small events would trigger it causing me to blow and totally lose that calm image I had been trying to project. Now I realize that anger and bitterness don’t have to last forever. For now it is a useful tool, however, to keep me focused on getting through the divorce which so far has been requiring me to do all of the heavy lifting. Once I am through that, my anger and bitterness will hopefully subside with time so that it doesn’t ruin the rest of the awesome life I plan to have.

Let go
Let go
7 years ago

Cheating is a planned, deliberate act and that says it all.

Beth
Beth
7 years ago

I had a few minor forgiveness trolls who were easy to ignore since they were on the periphery of my life. The biggest FT was my ex himself. My ex was one of those who didn’t want to tell me the whole truth about what he had done. He said I would never forgive him because, according to him, I “dwell in the past” and “hold grudges.” I love to read historical fiction and have done genealogy for years so I guess he’s right. I love to dwell in the past but not MY past. If forgiveness is for the sake of the forgiver, then I guess I’ve forgiven him because I’m at the point now (over four years past the last dday and over a year divorced) where I am grateful that the marriage ended because I’m happier with myself now than I ever was during the marriage and I firmly believe my adult children are better off without him in their lives as well. My former life as a married person is receding in my rear view mirror and I don’t miss it. Do I really hold grudges? Well, if going no contact with the firm intent of remaining no contact for the rest of my life because he’s a liar, a cheater and a thief who hurt me AND MY CHILDREN (which is the truly unforgivable part for me) is holding a grudge, then so be it. Besides, I’ve never understood the point of forgiving someone who refuses to acknowledge that they did wrong.

JustAnotherStatistic
JustAnotherStatistic
7 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Typical blameshifter… My cheater is the same way. Around the time of our separation, when we were still putting on a united front for the kids, I remember telling him how painful it was for me to stand next to him at a kid event. He said, “I’m not the one hurting you. Only you can make yourself feel bad.” Bullshit!!

A few days after he moved out, I regained my confidence, stopped crying, and finally got angry. Every day, every week, every month since then, I grow stronger, but never less angry.

Cheaters are smug assholes who will never understand the pain they inflict on their chumps.

Gail
Gail
7 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Yes in order to forgive your ex would have to come clean with what he or she did! No way would they ever confess in public what they did to you and your children! Impossible..they did with thier lives!

KathleenK
KathleenK
7 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Sounds like you are a past-dweller and grudge-holder, Beth! Nice spin by your X – it’s not what he did, it’s your reaction to it that is the problem here.

I’m just a bitter woman who flies into rages. I’m a rage-flier!!

Mom9193
Mom9193
7 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Beth — I’m with you! So well said!

Paintwidow
Paintwidow
7 years ago

You know where I’m getting it? From the people that can’t understand why my kids have gone nc with their father.
I get the ” you should encourage them to reconcile.” or ” they only have one dad, what happens when one of them gets married?”
My now “un” chumpy i don’t give a fuck response is this:
I don’t DIScourage my children from having a relationship with their father, that is their choice and I will support them in any choice they make.
What I can tell you about ” the only dad they have” is that he was checked out for most of their childhood, as far as I can tell almost always had an affair partner. He lied to them repeatedly when asked direct questions about his affair after he abandoned his family and told them that they had to embrace his affair partner and his new life if he was to have a relationship with them post divorce.
They opted out.
Trolls come in all forms.
I’m tired of the whole ” forgive….find your zen” nonsense or the ” anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
Fuck that. Righteous anger is what got me here. Righteous anger is what made my 19 & 25 yr old adult children decide whats best for them. There was no “poisoning the relationship”……not by me anyway.
For those advocates of the “mend it with dad” thing. I feel I should mention he doesn’t seem to care. He stopped the weepy text messages to them months ago.
I’m sure he tells people he’s just trying to be a better person hoping the kids will one day come to their senses.
Oh they have, don’t hold your breath buddy.

Beth
Beth
7 years ago
Reply to  Paintwidow

Oh God, this is exactly my situation. That “help them mend their relationship with dad” thing seriously pisses me off. My kids (24 and 22) broke off their relationships for different reasons but they HAD reason and I’m sorry but no one “needs” a dad who lies to them and steals from them. If he was a junkie who took money from the family to support his habit I bet no one would be telling me I need to help them “mend their relationship” but because he stole family time and money to support his stripper habit, I should get them to let him back in? Uh no. I’ve put exactly the same amount of effort into mending ex’s relationship with his kids as he has – no effort at all.

Beth
Beth
7 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Oh wow… thanks you guys! That means a lot to me. I have to confess something. I’ve been eating my words on that “If you have a relationship with your dad it won’t hurt me, but may end up hurting you” phrase lately. My oldest got his heart broken when his first serious, contemplating marriage girlfriend cheated on him. Of course he came to me for help and advice and of course, I gave him both of CL’s book to read. But he got it into his head that talking to his dad would help him understand/give him some closure or something of that nature. The truth is, despite what I said, it hurt like a motherfucker when he contacted his dad. I don’t think it went well. Ex’s stripper live-in GF does NOT want her meal ticket to reestablish contact with his kids and tried her damndest to sabotage the meeting. I’m not sure whether it was a one-off meeting or if it was the beginning of a reconciliation and I’m not asking any questions. I warned my son again about who/what he is dealing with and let it go at that. But I was surprised (and I shouldn’t have been after reading here so long) at how much it hurt me that my son wanted anything to do with the man who carelessly destroyed our family. I’m keeping my mouth shut and waiting to see if (or more likely when) I’ll have to pick up the pieces once again.

Paintwidow
Paintwidow
7 years ago
Reply to  Beth

My ex’s mistress would prefer my kids stay out of her orbit as well.
I have tried to mentally prepare myself for when or if my kids say they may want to see him again. I don’t think anybody can no for sure how they will feel if finally confronted with it. I think I struggle more with the fact that it would bring that snake back into any of our lives.
Beth, ugh!!!! I’m sorry you go through this. I hope your son had that meeting and it made him remember all the reasons he cut contact in the first place, that he didn’t fall for the sparkle. It never lasts and the letdown is a motherfucker.
Hugs to you.

Mehphista
Mehphista
7 years ago
Reply to  Paintwidow

My ex’s Schmoopie’s previous role in myKiddo’s life was ‘aunt’, so a bit tricky there….I get how you might eat your words Beth but sounds like your kid drew their own conclusions.

THAT is the really hard part even if I have full
custody 6000 miles away.

But. When she was there last Kiddo basically told her, ‘You are not my stepmother or any type of adult figure in my life. You were my aunt once upon a time but now you are just my Dad’s girlfriend.’

Longtimechump
Longtimechump
7 years ago
Reply to  Mehphista

Good for her! Smart kid!

Paintwidow
Paintwidow
7 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Beth,
I love your posts on here and because our paths are similar but you are ahead of me on the journey I always try to learn from you. You have been kind of instrumental to keeping me from getting sucked into the guilt over their dad. I actually stole a line that you posted and I go to it often if the subject of him comes up with my kids. It was ” if you have a relationship with your dad it won’t hurt me, but may certainly end up hurting you.” I read it, and all I could think was “just perfect….”
You should be proud of yourself and your kids.
Beth, you inspire me.

ClearWaters
ClearWaters
7 years ago
Reply to  Paintwidow

Beth and Paintwidow, I needed so much to read this exactly today!
Cheater has bought our eldest son off with an expensive car, fancy furnishings for son’s apartment (while running up many debts). So son is convinced that being politically correct/Switzerland to me and cheater is the way forward.
This disappoints me and makes me worry about son’s values. Will use your points of view on him to point out how he is falling for his cheater father’s “values”

Mehphista
Mehphista
7 years ago
Reply to  Paintwidow

Plus me, and BOTH of you guys are a real help to me.

Yep, I have been shunned and get sideye in my small ‘open-hearted’ hippy community for doing exactly what you guys have done: protect and prepare your kids to deal with manipulative, character-disordered, moral situationists. Sucks when it is your own dad (mine was also a narc, and I married one, so I don’t just emoatjize with Kiddo, I get triggered).

Amiisfree nailed it-you write them off like a bad check, or a lemon car, and it becomes your past. That is forgiveness.

Much harder for Kiddoes to go NC. Mine is spending her summer with him and schmoopie, on the other continent she and I left four years ago, prior to gap year/college. I don’t think she’ll ever go NC until she is older, if at all.

“If you have a relationship with your dad it won’t hurt me, but may end up hurting you.” is the truth! Stealing that.

Anon
Anon
7 years ago

Oh how I love your blog, Chump Lady. Forgiveness trolls are everywhere. Your response to this troll is perfect.

Martina24
Martina24
7 years ago

Yep.. the forgiveness trolls. Idiots. To me it seems that if you can be that passive and forgiving you were never hurt, or in most of our cases. the chumps, DESTROYED by what our cheaters did to us. I don’t think I can ever forgive him. He destroyed my trust, my family and my future with him, because he wanted to “have fun, be with someone who worshiped him, have a woman who fucked him at the drop of a hat and ignore her kids” yep.. sure.. I’ll never get those 24 years back…
He still will not take responsibility for his actions. Tells me to “get over it” and it was my fault, not his, because I didn’t cater to his narcissistic ego. Fuck him. Fuck all of them. The forgiveness trolls and the cheaters.
I love CL quote “I don’t wish you dead, consider yourself forgiven”
Maybe someday I will feel that way. For now I wish he’d feel an ounce of the pain he made me feel. Wishful thinking I guess.

Longtimechump
Longtimechump
7 years ago
Reply to  Martina24

In my case: “I wish you DEAD. but since you ate still alive, consider yourself forgiven.”

Lady B
Lady B
7 years ago
Reply to  Martina24

Mine told me tonight we broke up because of my anger and argumentive nature ! deluded much. Your ass was thrown out the door 2 hours after I found out your EA was a long EA PA.
Keep spinning that narrative until you and everyone you know believes it.
Small town and thankfullyI know the decent influential people who are good family people while his folk are all defective wing nuts.

Blindside
Blindside
7 years ago

Accidents are forgiven, mistakes are forgiven, a lapse in judgment is forgiven….we all make mistakes from time to time. I’ve made plenty of mistakes myself.

But spending years lying to your spouse and living a double life is not a mistake.

Spending years hiding money while expecting your spouse to carry the financial burden for the family is not a mistake.

Bringing your married boyfriend out and parading him around in front of your spouse, kids, friends, and your spouse’s family non-stop for years, while denying anything is going on, is not a mistake.

Conning your spouse into buying expensive furniture for your future house and taking on all of your debt while you’re sleeping with other people is not a mistake.

It took a couple of years, but I’ve gotten past most of this because my shock and grief morphed into full on anger, which then allowed me to look at these actions for what they are. I was mislead, lied to, and taken advantage of. That’s it. So now, when my ex tries to spout off any excuses or other blameshifting shit, I just ignore it.

I don’t know if actual forgiveness is in the future, but I have absolutely no desire to dwell on this shit anymore. So I come on here and vent from time to time. But the letter writer, she really has no idea about what she’s talking about. So I guess I’ll start by forgiving her for her ignorance…..oh well.

JustAnotherStatistic
JustAnotherStatistic
7 years ago
Reply to  Blindside

Amen!

brandib
brandib
7 years ago

This. Right. Here.

Tessie
Tessie
7 years ago

Forgiveness? Naaah! I will forever hold him responsible for his actions. What I did have to do, was say to myself that it is a matter between cheater ex and Spirit. I’m not capable of forgiving his pathetic ass, nor do I have to. So I gave the whole deal to Spirit. Since cheater ex is dead, he is in Spirit’s realm anyway. Cheater was a horrible person and who did a horrible thing. Not my circus, not my monkeys. And I don’t feel one bit guilty.

Longtimechump
Longtimechump
7 years ago
Reply to  Tessie

Tessie, looks like you have a good relationship with the Spirit! Could you kindly ask the Spirit is there is room for another lost soul? About 90kg. About 180cm in height. Thank you, Tessie!!?

Mehphista
Mehphista
7 years ago
Reply to  Tessie

Love you, Tessie!

Tessie
Tessie
7 years ago
Reply to  Mehphista

Right back atcha, Girlfriend!

Portia
Portia
7 years ago

I feel that anger, and any expression of grief is a very personal thing. The way we express any emotion probably goes back to the way we expressed it as an infant — and how our families and caregiver’s responded to it. I have seen some babies picked up the moment they cry, and others who are left to cry it out when they continue to cry after the caregiver has checked to see if they are fed, dry, etc. I think the babies actions are partly instinctive and partly training. I had two sons, and they behaved differently even when they were tiny babies. Another person cannot determine how you will react to any situation — they can only determine their own reaction. As a mother, I expressed approval or disapproval over the way my children reacted to various situations. I may have made some impact when they were older, but when they were tiny, I just did the best I could with taking care of their needs — and sometimes they just had to figure out that no matter how much they cried, mother couldn’t comfort them at that moment. I know that there have been some studies done on babies who were basically not cared for emotionally in some orphanages — evidently there was some terrible damage done to the core personalities of these children, which caused them serious emotional issues later in life. But the bottom line is that everyone has a different level of need and a different means of expression, and while others may or may not be able to provide comfort, they absolutely cannot determine how you express your particular need.
I had a very difficult time with “forgiveness”. I think my own definition of forgiveness differed from the definition many of those who advised me to forgive had. I believe forgiveness involves remorse and atonement. There is a great difference in sincerely apologizing for an action you have done that has caused someone else a great deal of discomfort or pain, especially when you did not intend to do that in the first place — and just telling someone “you have to forgive me because you are supposed to do that.” I was told I had to forgive the other in order to find peace myself, and to take away their power to upset me. That, as Tracy points out, is acceptance, not forgiveness. I accept the fact that there were Nazi’s and they did atrocious things to Jews when Hitler was in power. I do not forgive them for their actions. I accept the fact I cannot change the past, I do not forgive actions I believe are unacceptable. For me, acceptance was the key I needed to travel down the road to Meh. Some folks call this semantics, and that is ok with me. They can believe whatever they need to believe to get on with their life, and I will do the same thing with mine.
Trolls need to mind their own business and leave me alone. The most important thing I learned from dealing with Toxic People is that I could not be responsible for their choices, and I could not change anyone’s actions but my own. That concept is what allowed me to move forward and work thru my grief and anger. If I run across another traveler who seeks my help, and I can provide them with some comfort (as in, you are not alone, or this worked for me type comfort) then I am glad to share. If they don’t ask for help, I certainly do not feel compelled to give it. For Trolls — if your life is so perfect, why do you feel you need to meddle in mine? Please scurry off and live your life — I choose my friends carefully, and I don’t choose you!

Wormfree2017
Wormfree2017
7 years ago

Trust me when I say, forgiving cheaters will come back to bite you in the ass….or in my case will dump a bucket of dirty mop water over my head. I danced with forgiveness….The Worm acted like he had done me a huge favor by allowing me back into his life….stupid me, I forgave one more time. Met him with the family at a diner….first word out of his mouth is to tell me my collar is crooked. A torrential flood of anger came back and I realized I didn’t like who he turned me into.
It was then I figured out the I was the one I needed to forgive. The Worm, however, can stuff it.

sewingchump
sewingchump
7 years ago
Reply to  Wormfree2017

Isn’t this the truth? I need to forgive myself too for continuing to believe that I could give my STBX one more chance – THIS time he’ll be better. THIS time he’ll actually get a job. THIS time he’ll be good to me. Yeah right! These people don’t change. Plus I think if we’re going to get all into the forgiveness thing, it’s easier to “forgive” them when you’re not with them anymore. Ha. I’m inclined to think that I could quite possibly “forgive” my STBX when I see his outline in my rear view mirror.

sewingchump
sewingchump
7 years ago

I think the idea of forgiveness on the surface seems really benign. The problem in my opinion is that now days some people feel that it is a character trait. A value that everyone MUST subscribe to if they claim they have a moral backbone. I don’t begrudge people their forgiveness, but I also feel that it is such a personal thing. Am I going to hold onto my grudge against my STBX and his cheating while I’m laying on my deathbed and it’s the one thing I need to resolve to finally be able to die in peace? No. Hell no. I can live with myself just fine and know that I dumped my soul into a marriage that gave me a slap in the face back. I can definitely live with that and still consider myself a good person with integrity.

Anita
Anita
7 years ago

I am not a fan of forgiveness. I believe it is the ultimate Fuck You from the cheater to the chump. If you “forgive”, hey, what i did really wasnt that bad. You will be nice to them, you know, for the children. Make it easier for the new OWhore/wife. The needs of the chump are again minimized, under the guise of helping them off course.

The one the cheater needs to seek forgiveness from is God.

I run kind of contrary to other Christians, even, on this one. They, too, think forgiveness is the best thing you can do for the cheater. And, of course, yourself. Personally, I think the highest thing you can do to help a cheater is to let them suffer consequences so that maybe they will turn from their sinful activities, ie, adultery. The forgive advice is just another variation of ” it’s not what I did wrong that is the problem, it is your reaction to it. ” Uh, huh, sure it is.

Special snowflake ha!
Special snowflake ha!
7 years ago
Reply to  Anita

Anita, I really get your post. My x is Jewish and my children were raised Jewish. My middle son recently converted to Christianity and is driving me bonkers with “forgiving” his father as Jesus forgives us. Doesn’t matter how many times/ways I come up with to explain true repentance and consequences. It’s like hitting my head on a brick wall…he just keeps throwing a blanket “Jesus forgiveness” on me.

It’s terribly hard when your forgiveness hound is your own son, who is trying so hard to do the right thing himself. But I can’t/won’t forgive the x for lying, cheating and stealing from us all for the kids entire lives. For telling all of us to “get over it”, to “accept that’s just how he is”. How can any reasonable, sane human forgive that? Barring him dropping dead (and making me euphorically happy) the fact that the x is still breathing is all the forgiveness I need to give. The rest is up to God alone.

Anita
Anita
7 years ago

That’s rough, Special Snowflake. A few weeks ago there was a discussion at church, and one lady said “We need to learn to forgive faster.” I just bite my tongue and say nothing because being “unforgiving” is apparently doing whatever needs to be forgiven.

Anita
Anita
7 years ago
Reply to  Anita

Oops, apparently as bad as doing things that need to be forgiven.

PF
PF
7 years ago

Troll translation:

Not to brag but I’ve never been cheated on….how do I know….I know because I’m so very special and psychic and I absolutely know my husband of 25 years has never cheated on me. I’m that special unlike your poor betrayed spouses who are not as special and psychic as myself.

I’m also so special that I can forgive although I have nothing to forgive because as I stated I’m special.
I am also so special that I can give the appearance of empathy. I’m not here for me but for a friend who is not as special as me and it makes me uncomfortable to listen to his problems. I dislike people’s feelings and don’t want to hear about their pain.

I wouldn’t want my husband’s money if he left me for another woman. I’m writer that didn’t make two cents for over 15 years out my 25 year marriage. I have my pride and during my 2 cent years my non-cheating husband never cheated on me while I lived off his income.

Did I mention I’m a writer…I write about things I have no clue about and dispense advice I have no clue about. I am a writer….I’ve now reached the 2 dollar landmark earnings and on my way to eventually earning ten dollars as a writer in then next fifteen years.

You poor chump sloths get over it. Forgive and please don’t make us special, never been cheated people uncomfortable in your company.

Oh…I know pain….I’ll write about it in obscure vague way to make myself appear human.

So get over it chumps because if I were cheated on… (although I haven’t ever been cheated on)…. I would get over it.

Must go now….there’s a poverty thread I need to address…not that I’ve ever been poor or starving but if I were poor and starving I must add my 2 cents worth of my writing skills to address the whiny poor people who need to get over it.

Namaste Y”all

Chompingchump
Chompingchump
7 years ago
Reply to  PF

+100

Mehphista
Mehphista
7 years ago
Reply to  PF

LOL!

Namas-cray , PF (my inner crazy honors tour inner crazy)

newdaydawning
newdaydawning
7 years ago

I like the discussion defining acceptance and forgiveness. Acceptance that x is disordered is what allowed me to move on and reclaim my life. I don’t need to forgive to do that. Forgiveness is what he needs for image management.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago

The only way to truly forgive our cheaters is to imbue them with remorse and compassion and empathy, none of which they have (or they wouldn’t have betrayed us to begin with). Wait, isn’t projecting positive qualities onto them what got us into this mess to begin with? (facepalm)

What we’re after is detachment. That doesn’t require forgiveness. Our goal is to make the cheaters an afterthought in the broad tapestry of our lives (including the rich, colorful section that comes post-cheater). To be able to think about them without strong emotion, much as you might consider a pair of jeans you once liked but have since discarded.

My college boyfriend was a jerk to me–not especially kind, threw me just enough intermittent reinforcement to keep me around, but not enough to keep me happy or emotionally satisfied. He broke up in a mean way. (I know, detecting a pattern here in my romantic endeavors.) I never forgave him, I just stopped caring. I neither wish him well nor wish him harm. I have very little cause to ever think about him. That’s as much as my X can expect from me. Hannibal continues to minimize the damage he caused, to blameshift his serial cheating onto my deficiencies as a wife, and to convince former friends to have nothing to do with me (thereby further isolating me). Forgiveness? hahahahaha. Nope.

Butterbean
Butterbean
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Thank you for writing this.

I am so weary of people spewing cliches at me about me drinking the poison, seek revenge dig two graves….meaningless.

For you to light the path with “detachment” helps me more than you can ever know. I had not thought of it. It is not given as a path to healing, but it is the only thing that has clicked for me.

The old pair of brogans I gave to my mother to garden in, the Tuffskin jeans I wore when I gained 60 lbs (good times)… the books I gave away……that is the best goal I can have about Scuzzy.

I will *never* forgive. I don’t care if I get brain cancer, have 3 days to live and the Pope, the Dalia Lama (sp?) and every spiritual leader in the world washes my feet. “Nope.”

chumpionsahm
chumpionsahm
7 years ago

Ugh, forgiveness. I still do not even know exactly what all I would need to forgive, and am unlikely ever to know. Plus, can a person even really forgive narcissism? I feel that the best I can do is gain enough knowledge about it to practice effective self-defense, but forgiving it seems impossible and irrational, like trying to forgive a tornado or cancer. At this point, still fighting to survive this thing, emerge with a reasonable settlement, and be fully extricated from the cheater. Accepting reality is the current task, and surviving, and getting a life. Then, maybe forgiving myself for being so thoroughly chomped is a good task. Already have made some moves in that direction, but it sure is not always easy. But the storm that leveled everything? The silent creeping cancer that took more and more? Not human forces. Not sure it even makes sense to think of them in terms of forgiveness.

sewingchump
sewingchump
7 years ago
Reply to  chumpionsahm

Very good point. Don’t know what meh feels like, but feeling that it must be akin to this. It’s not about forgiveness – it’s about survival. You survived cancer? You feel good about still being among the living and you don’t dwell on the fact that you had cancer. You move on. You live life! You could have died and you’ve had a taste of how precious life is. Yeah, I can definitely see how this mindset plays into surviving narcissism and cheating. I survived that and yes, I’m getting out. I finally, FINALLY get how precious my years among the living – and living well – are.

Survivor
Survivor
7 years ago
Reply to  sewingchump

I survived a cheating narcissist and I survived cancer. In some ways, cancer was easier. You don’t expect cancer to be nice or fair to you. You don’t consider giving it a second chance. You throw the book at it. Excise it from your body, and do your best to see to it that it doesn’t return. You never, ever consider still being friends with it.

KathleenK
KathleenK
7 years ago
Reply to  Survivor

Wonderful insight Survivor – thanks for sharing. You are a true survivor.

chumpionsahm
chumpionsahm
7 years ago
Reply to  KathleenK

Yes! And forgiveness, to me, comes in relationship. Do not want a relationship with a destructive force. Narks are cancer that wants a relationship. No.

Survivor
Survivor
7 years ago
Reply to  chumpionsahm

And they’re harder to detect. If I could have biopsied the Fucktard ex, I’d have saved myself a lot of wasted time and effort.

chumpionsahm
chumpionsahm
7 years ago
Reply to  sewingchump

Exactly–it’s not really a matter of forgiving the person. After all, that’s someone who will never fully confess, and is incapable of sorrow or redemption. So, here we have this storm or this cancer. The task is to survive and rebuild, first of all, savoring life along the way. Yes, learning to heed storm warnings and cancer symptoms important moving forward. So, we do that as needed, but keep on living. Forgiveness does not compute. Storms and cancer just are. We can heal and protect ourselves as needed, but the point is to survive and thrive in their wake.

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
7 years ago

I’m close to 3.5 years after leaving the XPOS and I still have hate. Oh well. My hate was a long time coming. I grieved for so long it was unreal and ridiculous now that I look back!

And for what????!!! A cheating, most likely through entire 10 years, narcissist that didn’t know if he wanted men, women, or very young girls?!!! Really?

Then came the hate. This, to me, is finally me protecting me and realizing this is WRONG! No one dare better treat me with disrespect, gaslight, lie, cheat, turn on me like a viper, etc and think I will forever greive. Oh no sir!

Once I wake up from the grief and pain and realize that my life has been torn apart with intention and purpose……..watch out! I’m all in for the hate.
Of course he has no idea because I have not seen or heard from him for 3.5 years.

What I like most (NOT) are the people who say: ‘you’re giving him power and presence in your life because you grieve him (long ago), hate him, etc.
Really? Uhhhhh…..NO! I rarely think of satan but when I do or if I have a trigger, then that’s when the hate surfaces.

It’s my party and I’ll hate if I want to! 🙂 (you know the song!)

Attie
Attie
7 years ago
Reply to  IHaveHate

Me too. I’ve been divorced 5 years and still have hate – but I try to water it down but for MY sake, not his. I think back to all the beatings and KNOW that he hasn’t changed and even with the best will in the world the latest schmoopie will soon be finding out about that temper. The only saving grace for me is that he is now living in the States and I am in France so there is no chance of him just showing up at my house (he apparently showed relatives round my place while I was away in the UK). That being said, I have to see him in July at my son’s wedding but I will be surrounded by my family who would gladly sit on him while I punched three shades of shit out of him – not that that’s going to happen but it is a lovely daydream!

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
7 years ago
Reply to  Attie

Attie, so sorry! No EVER deserves what you went through! What a piece of shit, coward!
Uggh!
I do like your daydream! 🙂

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
7 years ago

Sometimes I think I am my own worst enemy. I was the one who wanted to forgive and worried about being angry and bitter and what that might do to my psyche. Nobody else told me to “get over it”. I was getting my inspiration from the websites for spouses of Mid Life Crisis (and I still think that is playing a role, I just no longer see it as something that should be my problem). It took the anger of family and friends (as well as additional doses of subtle yet painful mistreatment from STBX) to finally steer me towards the path of divorce. It was when my super religious pro marriage friend, who was part of a couple who had been friends with us both for years (her husband was STBXs friend from grade school), told me that I really needed to divorce him because it didn’t seem like he was in his right mind and I needed to protect the kids, that I finally realized that divorce was the only answer. I had already stumbled across Chump Lady but had been avoiding it because it was so discouraging in regards to reconciliation. Once I decided to go down the path of divorce I started coming here regularly in order to keep myself committed to ending my marriage and my pain. You all have been a big help with that so thank you.

AliceUnderground
AliceUnderground
7 years ago

I suspect that many of these forgiveness trolls very much want to evade the consequences of something they’ve done. They want to keep the emphasis on forgiveness so they can feel fine about their half-assed apologies and sketchy behaviour. They can blame it all on someone else’s bitterness.

Chompingchump
Chompingchump
7 years ago

This! Calling someone bitter is like saying “your anger is not righteous anger.”

Beachgirl
Beachgirl
7 years ago

My cheater died several months after our divorce was finalized. Guess what? I still don’t forgive him and I find a new happiness about my life daily. Maybe one day I’ll “forgive” him for stealing 16 years of my life, my youth, my faith in God, my money, my health (mental and physical) and he did it with thoughtful willful intent and wasn’t the least bit sorry. What is there to forgive? All these forgiveness gurus wouldn’t be so quick with this shit if they’ve lived in our shoes for even a day. Today would have been his 41st birthday and I still don’t forgive him. People think because we don’t go the forgiveness route that we are also bitter, I’m not bitter, I’m rightfully pissed and I’ll be pissed until I’m good and ready to not be. I’m also gonna focus on living the best life I can now that I’m free of his evil.